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 Indexetera    —   Indexing et cetera



See the Appendix for the FAQ about indexing.
Indexetera is a member of the German Network of Indexers and of the American Society for Indexing.

Types of indexes
No index?
Basic conditions
Seminars and workshops
Evaluations and consulting
Indexes are written, not generated.
— Nancy Mulvany, Indexing Books


Can’t find a certain topic in the index to a book you’ve read, though you know for sure that it’s in the book? Or you’ve missed a highly interesting topic in the index to a new book, not knowing that you should have looked under a different index entry?

These are just two typical examples of serious indexing flaws! Hopefully you are not in a hurry when encountering such situations (e.g. desperately looking for something specific in a computer manual).

Avoid amateurish indexing by people without special knowledge or by so-called automatic indexing methods (see the Appendix for further explanations).

Indexing is an art and craft in itself. The Anglo-American indexing world is well developed with its own professional organizations (Indexetera is staying in touch with some of them).

Types of indexes

A major service of Indexetera is the compilation (and, if necessary, maintenance) of fine indexes to different media:

  • book indexes
    (trade books, specialist books, scholarly books, how-to books, textbooks, reference books, manuals, technical documentation)
  • journal indexes
    (journals, magazines, and other periodicals)
  • other indexes
    (brochures, catalogs, loose-leaf publications, images)
  • site indexes
    (web sites and intranets)

Note that indexes to periodicals and web sites usually have to be maintained on a continuous basis. Find out more about web site indexing in a special article.

See also information about subject areas covered.


Indexetera uses SKY Index™, a dedicated indexing program with numerous options to facilitate the intellectual workload of the indexer. The program guarantees a high indexing performance, thus enabling a fine job. SKY Index™ is one of the top three programs among professional indexers. The finished index can be delivered as an RTF file so as to ensure import to other file formats and across different platforms.

Indexing can also be done by embedding tags within the content document (so-called embedded indexing), for example with MS Word. However, this kind of indexing is often more laborious and time-consuming than using dedicated indexing software.


Index design and format usually follows modern standards based on Anglo-American and international indexing expertise (e.g. The Chicago Manual of Style, ISO). Indexing according to the German style guide Duden – Satz und Korrektur is also possible (see, however, the book review about the 2003 edition).

No index?

Your publication does not include an index, and in retrospect you do regret this sin? No problem at all! Indexetera can remedy such a situation by providing an index for online publication (e.g. as a PDF document or web page). No more excuses for absent or inadequate indexes!

Basic conditions

Indexetera welcomes your ideas about your indexing projects but also likes to consult you to make the right decisions. Prior to each project a number of questions have to be clarified, for example

  • available time
  • number of indexes *
  • available space **
  • alphabetical arrangement
  • format of index ***
    * Usually one index only is the right solution; users won’t be forced to browse through several indexes.
    ** Less relevant to online indexes.
    *** See the Appendix for downloadable examples (German only).

Please note that a book indexing project can usually be done with typeset pages only; you may send a print-out or PDF file.

Translation of indexes (German-English or English-German) may be possible for small documents, though one should assume that indexing the translation is often the only reasonable approach from an indexing as well as economic point of view.


Rates of indexing projects depend on various factors such as:

  • type of material (e.g. books, periodicals, web sites)
  • available time (rush jobs may be possible but require an additional fee)
  • format specifications which considerably deviate from usual standards
  • number of indexable pages (i.e. contents pages)
  • density of text per page
  • complexity of subject matter
  • depth of indexing
  • number of indexes (e.g. author and subject indexes)

Indexing projects can be charged at a per-page rate, hourly rate, or flat rate. Per-page rates are based on the number of indexable pages. Flat rates can be quoted especially for journal (e.g. number of issues) and web site indexes. For book indexes, sending some sample pages allows for a precise evaluation.

Please contact Indexetera for quotations on specific projects.

Seminars and workshops

Since 2005 Indexetera offers customizable one-day or two-day seminars and workshops on professional indexing. Both focus on modern techniques (including exercises) following international conventions which help optimizing the indexing process as well as avoiding mistakes. The presentation of dedicated indexing software can be included. Please ask for further details.

Evaluations and consulting

Indexetera offers index evaluations according to modern, international practice (including ISO standard). This way, notorious mistakes can be avoided which in turn substantially improves quality assurance of your publications. Index evaluations can be the basis of creating an own indexing house style. Further details available on request.